Tunisia's feared state police disbanded
Published 08/03/2011 | 05:00
Tunisia's interim ruler has named a new government and disbanded the feared state security network.
The move represents another significant victory for people power as the state police were notorious for their human rights abuses under the iron direction of the ousted dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
It is a further attempt to cement their authority and gain legitimacy in the eyes of protesters who forced Ben Ali to flee on January 14. The caretaker authorities are attacking the remaining vestiges of his 23-year rule, one by one.
Prime minister Beji Caid Sebsi unveiled a new cabinet of technocrats rather than career politicians, none of whom had served in previous governments under Ben Ali.
He told a press conference the ministers had been chosen in the public interest to see through a delicate transition until Tunisians elect a national constituent assembly on July 24.
Shortly after the cabinet line-up was announced, an interior ministry spokesman said Ben Ali's political police and state security apparatus had been dissolved -- a core demand behind the popular uprising.
"I can confirm that it was decided to terminate them. We will take other decisions that will please the people," he said.
The twin security organs had functioned as a domestic spy agency with wide powers to suppress opposition to the regime.